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21st Jun 2015

SportsJOE’s Monday Morning Awards: UFC Berlin’s best performers

And still...

Ben Kiely

With eight of the 11 fights ending in a finish, ze Germans were treated to a feast of MMA action at Fight Night 69

While you’re sipping on your morning cup of SportsJOEgetting ready to face another working week, let us send your mind back to the good ol’ times of the past weekend.

We got plenty of these (presumably) coveted Monday Morning Awards to give out, so without further ado, let’s get this show on the road.

Knockout of the night – Mairbek Taisumov

Often when one hears of a modern Russian MMA fighter, the automatic assumption is that they’re a) from Dagestan, b) are a Sambo specialist and c) are absolute beasts.

Mairbek Taisumov is only one of the above. The Chechen-born fighter showed the world yet again that some Russians are pretty good at Muay Thai too, by recording his third straight knockout in the UFC against Alan Patrick Silva Alves.

A glancing head kick that skimmed the top of his opponent’s head did the damage. Taisumov then followed the fight to mat and rained down with some vicious ground and pound until the ref had seen enough.

Submission of the nightMakwan Amirkhani

There were a few candidates for this prize, but the man who tugged at our heart strings with his touching Octagon interview scored the best submission in our book.

The Finnish fighter is beginning to make a habit of first round finishes, following up his eight-second demolition of Andy Ogle in his promotional debut by forcing the tap over Masio Fullen with a stunning rear-naked 1:41 into the first stanza.

Performance of the night – Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Joanna “all the Js” Jedzjzjzjk (close enough) showed with an absolute annihilation of Jessica Penne that she has the ability to dominate her division like a certain other disgraced champ who shares her initials.

The six-time Muay Thai world champion turned her opponent’s face to hamburger meat with her brutal striking masterclass, and really never looked in any kind of danger.

After two rounds of viciously pummeling Penne, she turned it up a gear in the third and forced referee Marc Goddard step in and stop the bout with less than minute left in the third.

If Penne’s battered and broken face isn’t enough to convince you that this was a hammering, the stats should tell you what type of fight this was.

Berlin stats

One to watch – Arnold Allen

Admittedly, Allen was far from dominant against a lacklustre Alan Omer. The fight seemed too close to call, leaving fans waiting for the dreaded “never leave it in the hands of the judges” cliché to get wheeled out by the commentary team.

Luckily, the 21-year-old Brit spared of us from enduring that fate, by capitalising on a mistake from Omer as he shot in for a single leg takedown. Allen locked in the guillotine choke, and showed that he had the toughness to compete against a stronger, more experienced opponent on MMA’s biggest stage.

Remarkable to think that he took this fight on less than a week’s notice.